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Parents at AECOM get time off for school holidays

Parents at AECOM get time off for school holidays

With school holidays around the corner many parents are yet again faced with the struggle of how they will manage the break. Negotiations may start between the parents as to who will take leave and for what duration, scrambling for help from grandparents, sharing the load with other school parents or paying for extra childcare. Typically parents may require a mix of all these options and more in order to manage the school holiday breaks – but not at AECOM!

FlexCareers is incredibly excited to continue partnering with global infrastructure firm AECOM after they launched an industry-first, term-time only contracts for working parents in 2017!

What exactly is a school term-time only contract?

Put simply, it’s when an employees salary is reduced, or prorated, to allow for extra holidays to be taken to align with school breaks. The benefit being income is portioned out over the year, meaning parents don’t have to face several weeks without any money coming in – and they can spend school holidays with their children, no questions asked.

AECOM is passionate about embracing school term-time only contracts to encourage qualified engineers and scientists to return to an industry they may have left because it was impossible to balance work and family life. This initiative will give employees access to 12 weeks of leave per year so they can spend every school holiday with their children.

AECOM Chief Executive for Australia and New Zealand Todd Battley said, “There is a significant pool of talent who have stepped away from our industry because they were unable to nurture their families and their careers at the same time. That no longer has to be the case. By working with FlexCareers, on what we believe to be an industry first, we will be able to target an extensive network of parents and guardians who are seeking flexibility to manage childcare responsibilities.”

It’s a bold move forward in an industry that has lagged behind when it comes to workplace flexibility. Fitting that it should come from AECOM, a company that already championed flexible working across the organisation, and has been recognised by Engineers Australia and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as a leader on gender diversity and pay equality in a sector that has typically underperformed in this regard.

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The term-time contracts are available to anyone that is responsible for school-aged children including, for example, foster-carers children and grandparents. Whilst AECOM hopes that men will take the opportunity to spend the holidays with their children, where AECOM hope to make the biggest impact is encouraging women who may have put their career in engineering on hold due to lack of flexibility, to come back and give it another chance.

A Human Resources spokesperson from AECOM said, “I regularly speak with women who express the challenges about school holidays and there is no doubt that many stop working because it is just too hard to manage the 12 weeks of school holidays each year. This arrangement will take that worry away for people. We are confident that it will appeal to both men and women with caring responsibilities.”

If you have stepped away from a career in engineering because it was too difficult to juggle the demands of working with caring for your children, we encourage you to apply for a role with AECOM. Similarly, if you are still in engineering but don’t get the flexibility you need with your current employer have a look at what AECOM has to offer.

For more information and to see what vacancies are available, please visit: www.flexcareers.com.au/employers/aecom

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